|Was||Actor Stage actor Film actor|
|From||United States of America|
|Field||Film, TV, Stage & Radio|
|Birth||19 January 1913, Talmage, Otoe County, Nebraska, USA|
|Death||27 March 2001, Greeley, Weld County, Colorado, USA (aged 88 years)|
Anthony John "Tony" Dexter (born Walter Reinhold Alfred Fleischmann, January 19, 1913 – March 27, 2001) was an American actor known for his striking resemblance to silent film hero Rudolph Valentino, whom he portrayed in the 1951 biographic Valentino. Dexter sometimes used the pseudonym Walter Craig. He was known for portraying many real-life characters such as Captain John Smith, Captain William Kidd, Billy the Kid and Christopher Columbus.
Born Walter Reinhold Alfred Fleischmann in Nebraska, he earned an athletic scholarship to St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and later earned a Master of Arts from the University of Iowa. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army's Special Services in England earning the rank of Sergeant. After the war he performed on Broadway productions of The Three Sisters, Ah, Wilderness and The Barretts of Wimpole Street.
When preparing a film biography of Rudolph Valentino, Valentino, producer Edward Small chose Dexter for the lead from over 75,000 applicants and 400 screen tests. His incredible likeness to Valentino led to a contract with Columbia Pictures, but hampered him in achieving substantial film roles. When Dexter broke his contract with Edward Small due to the producer wanting to use him exclusively in Valentino-type roles, Dexter soon found that other producers wished him to do the same - for less money. He also made three unsuccessful television pilots, two of them swashbucklers.
After his movie career ended, Dexter, now known as Walter Craig, taught high school English, speech, and drama classes at Eagle Rock High School (circa 1968-1978) in the Los Angeles area. When he retired from teaching, Craig moved to Greeley, Colorado, where he lived until his death on March 27, 2001. He had two daughters, Kimberly and Claudia.